When we decided to be exclusive, he showed me his profile before disabling it.He had three mentions of alcohol in it, and multiple photos where he’s holding a drink. That wasn’t the first time I’d dated someone with a drinking problem.

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And I’ve never carried around the temptation on a tray since.

"But he's not that smart," my friend admits, "and that might just be a deal-breaker."She's a hard-news reporter and Web producer who craves intellectual stimulus outside of her job.

"We've all heard the sentiment that when passion fades, you need something else to keep your spark alive," says a 23-year-old friend.

"I think that's why dating your intellectual equal is so important.

We were on Sunset Boulevard amidst a crowd of jovial Alice in Wonderlands and men dressed as The Golden Girls. She “stopped by” a lot, particularly when I was not around. He flipped my plastic tray and sent the bottles flying. The next morning, I said good-bye to him for good and made a vow to myself: no more alcoholics, and certainly no more enabling such guys by carrying around a tray of their vice. A few months earlier, when we had started dating, I ignored the hints that he was an alcoholic.

I watched as they shattered and decorated the asphalt like glitter. He drank a lot sometimes, sure, but I didn’t know just how much and that he often did so alone.

When a guy can't keep up with her as she discusses the news, debates the merits of legal reforms, and cracks sarcastic, witty jokes, she notices that she immediately gets turned off.

She's not the first and hardly the only woman to express a similar sentiment: Some women need a challenge, a man who encourages her to be her fastest, smartest self.

In dating non-alcoholic guys, I found I relish sober activities more than drinking-centric ones.

More importantly, I’ve prioritized what’s important to me when it comes to a partner, and broke an unconscious pattern of my own.

I should have known to bring decoys filled with Coca-Cola and water, instead—even though I knew that wouldn’t solve his drinking problem. I should have broken up with him after he downed those mini bottles.